Good morrow, gentlefolk. What splendors awaited us when dawn first broke on yon Saturday past! What fortune indeed that the gods of football should bestow upon our mortal heads this bounty of midwestern gridiron wonder. I pray that your chosen gladiators fought mightily and emerged victorious. Unless you're a Michigan fan, obviously. Let us gaze upon thy fields of strife and behold thy bounty.
Clearly, we see that the great power lies in the East. The armies of the West are many, but weak. Ye verily I say unto you, they that claimed to be great warriors lie stricken. Blood stains their purple vestments! Much like last season, the West is shaping up to be the also-ran to several great teams in the east. Michigan has come on surprisingly strong in recent weeks. OSU is starting to recall how to score touchdowns, and MSU remains potent despite injuries. Who will win the West, and is there any chance for the occidental squads in the B1G CCG? Time will tell.
14 B1G Things
1. Three snaps, three QBs? Good idea, Urban. Is one thing has been troubling the Buckeyes, it's too much consistency under center.
2. Ralph Friedgen may be long gone, but Randy is still wearing his sweatshirts. And he may have just ended his career at Maryland with a mic drop.
3. How is Zander Diamont still alive? It's like watching a chipmunk dodge ice cream trucks.
4. Hack double his season-long per-game TD pass average today with...2.
5. Iowa scores first, misses the PAT. Never change, Kirk.
6. If you told anyone that the first rushing touchdown Iowa surrendered all year would be to Illinois...
7. Jerry Kill was waiting for the right time to unleash the offensive beast of Mitch Leidn--wow, couldn't get through that without laughing.
8. Purdue keeps showing up to these games every week. God love ya, Boilermakers. You've got heart.
9. Michigan is doing an awful lot of winning for not having a QB.
10. Oh, Cats. We knew this was coming. You know this was coming. Let's not make an intervention out of it.
11. Alright, whichever one of your clowns to the Brazilian kid he gets 4 points for hitting an upright, just own up to it already.
12. Is it Mike RiLLLLey now? Ya'll need to a hire a guy with a few Ws in his name.
13. MSU is currently accepting walk-ons to fill immediate shortfalls. No experience needed. Size a must.
14. Rutgers is pretty much our walking meme at this point.
The Nitty Gritty
Maryland at OSU // OSU wins 49-28. Oh hey, OSU offense. Didn't see you walk in. The Buckeyes looked okay in the first aside from the 52-yard TD heave by Hills. They looked okay in the second, too...right up until the end. After an OSU drive sputtered, they kicked the ball bag to Murrland who promptly went 78 yards in two plays on the legs of former high school wrestler Perry Hills. The Buckeye defense--which has underperformed in the last two games--then let Murrland score the tying TD with the help of a few penalties. After that, the Buckeyes finally turned it on. Four more scores and a MD touchdown in garbage time round of the trips to the endzone. Overall, the Buckeyes looked a bit crisper. JT Barrett ran the red zone offense to good effect and Braxon Miller proved to be a threat in the passing game. Not a bad outcome for 499 yards of offense, really. Hopefully the offense's ability to get its act together will influence the defense to do the same. Probably not, though.
GF3's #HOTTAKE: Ugh. This team. First it was the offense. Then it inexplicably became the defense. I grow weary of watching the 2015 Buckinoles trip/stumble/drool their way to an explicable ramrodding by someone.
DJ's #HOTTAKE: "lol Perry Hills out rushed Ezekiel Elliott. WHY IS MARYLAND'S QB OUT RUSHING THE BEST RB IN THE LEAGUE? Oh, it's probably because he was 2 for fucking 11 in the first half, albeit a ton of those misses were actually drops that he put right where the ball should be. Finishing 10-27 blows, but factoring in 8 drops, it blows even more that he could of went 18-27 (or let's say 15-27 to say some would drop anyways). All I have is lololol Maryland took OSU about all the way through the 3rd before they remembered they were the #1 team in the country and showed it." OSU next up: PSU | MD next up: bye.
Indiana at PSU // PSU wins 29-7. So close, and yet so far. The Nits and Hoosiers locked horns early in the first, and it looked as though Indiana sans-Sudfeld might have a shot. But alas, the defense that Army gashed for 261 on the ground tightened its chinstraps and came after Indiana. The Hoosier offense sputtered behind Diamont's 9-of-17 for 90 yards and 38 yards rushing. Hackenberg, who was averaging one TD pass per game, blew his game wide open and threw for two TDs, and ran for two more.
Candystripes' #HOTTAKE: "Penn State should send the Buckeyes something nice for the win they were gifted today. Also, if Sudfeld doesn't hurry back, IU is staring 4-8 straight in the face."
87townie's #HOTTAKE: Penn State came out of the tilt with Indiana in good shape. The playbook opened wide. It gave us a glimpse of the vertical passing scheme we can expect in Big Ten play. We still have issues on the offensive line. MSU, Michigan, and Ohio State will give Hack nightmares. On defense, Penn State's front seven look tough. After giving up way too much offense to Army, it stifled Indiana. I'm still looking at this as an 8 win team, rebuilding around some promising young talent. That said, derps happen and we have the tough part of our schedule beginning next week against the Buckeyes in Columbus. PSU next up: at OSU | IU next up: Rutgers
Illinois at Iowa // Iowa wins 29-20. Stop for a moment and consider the fact that Iowa is still undefeated. No, you haven't leapt into some beautiful future were our homes are powered by banana peels and coffee grounds fed into a Mr. Fusion machine and Kirk Ferentz is long gone. He's still the coach. C.J. Beathard had another good day for the Hawkeyes. The erstwhile backup has now solidified his place as one of the better Iowa QBs in memory. Though he was hampered by a few dropped passes that hurt his stat line, Beathard finished the day 15-of-31 for 200 yards and 2 TDs. Wes Lunt, on the other hand, looked as good as we've seen against real competition. He completed 25 of his 42 throws for 317 yards and a TD, but three sacks stymied Illini drives. Jordan Canzeri put Iowa on his back again, rushing for an outrageous 253 yards, including a 75-yard TD. This game was far from offensive showcase, but each team proved they can move the ball and Iowa remains the master of its own destiny in the west.
alnamiasIV's #HOTTAKE: For four weeks, Iowa fans have wanted to believe. #newKirkFerentz, we're back, Bullies of the Big Ten, but after five years of unfulfilled expectations and empty promises, Iowa fans were gun-shy. This week, Iowa beat a ranked opponent for the first time since 2011, and yeah, Iowa is for real and Hawkeye fans can believe. The sum of this team is definitely greater than the individual parts, but the team itself is unified in a way we haven't seen in Iowa City for a while. On the plus side, I love Iowa's defensive ends--seniors Nate Meier and Drew Ott--and junior DT Jaleel Johnson might push for All-American honors next year. Also, I'm not sure what the Iowa individual season interception record is but Desmond King--5 INTs on the year--we knew he was good coming in, but he is turning out to lockdown. I can't imagine he'll hang around for his senior year. I have no idea what UW was thinking trying to pick on him. On the down side, I am worried that Iowa's passing game won't be able to function without WR Tevaun Smith, who Ferentz said will be out until after the bye week. However, for now, Iowa is real, Iowa is ranked, piss off haters.
Thumpasaurus' #HOTTAKE: Though a few key mistakes cost the Illini a chance at a huge road win, it is starting to become apparent that they have an actual football team down in Champaign. For years I've been saying I just want Illinois to compete, and there they were doing just that. It's incredible to think that Illinois, without Josh Ferguson or Mike Dudek, had a chance to be 5-1. Iowa next up: at Northwestern | Illinois next up: bye.
Minnesota at Purdue // Minny wins 41-13. Jerry Kill was clearly just using the past weeks to lull Purdue into a false sense of security so he could slam the door behind them. Or perhaps Leidner is just that bad and only a Purdue effort can make the man look like a serviceable QB. Many expected to Purdue to put up a valiant effort or even upset Minnesota, given the respective outings over the past few weeks. Instead, the Gophers sailed into Purdue Harbor and ran the Boilermakers out of their own stadium. Purdue coughed the ball up four times, including a brutal pick-six by Jalen Myrick. Leidner threw only 12 times, completing eight for 59 whole yards. Two of those passes went for TDs, so at the very least Mitch can claim that every fourth pass was worth six points. David Blough had a terrible day, in keeping with the rest of his squad. A good, easy win for Minnesota and possibly something to build on after being dismantled by a Northwestern team that has suddenly lost its shine.
WhiteSpeedReceiver's #TEPIDTAKE: Minnesota didn't lose, but we did rack up a few more huge injuries.
baboreally's #HOTTAKE: Purdue is a sad pile of sadness. They scored the first 6 points of the game and then gave up 41 unanswered. And their best defender may have torn his ACL in practice. Football sucks. Minnesota next up: Nebraska | Purdue next up: at Wisconsin.
Northwestern at Michigan // Michigan wins 38-0. I suppose, given Northwestern's history with hot starts and mid-season collapses, we might call this the inevitable. Michigan has suddenly found a defense, and it's good enough to make one wonder where the hell it was against Utah. Three shutouts in a row is a feat, indeed. Jake Rudock has turned his previously terrible QB play into something we might dub average. With a defense like Michigan's, average can equal some damn good wins. Simply not turning the ball over gives the Wolverines a huge advantage. Of course, none of the teams they've faced has been an offensive power. It's still a tough feat to keep even a crummy offense out of the endzone week in and week out. Next week, the Wolverines will face hated rival MSU. That should provide a bit more insight into how good this defense really is. As for Northwestern, the West is still theirs to lose. Which is the same as saying the CCG is theirs to lose, as well.
LPW's Barrel Fire #HOTTAKE: F*** Michigan with a rusty farm tool. Fire McCall. We were not expecting to get our asses flat out kicked. That hasn't happened to Northwestern for a while. Michigan next up: MSU | NU next up: Iowa.
Wisconsin at Nebraska // Wisconsin rips 100,000 beating Nebraskan hearts from their chests, 23-21. Mike Riley is a man on a question to find every horrible, soul-rending, life-shortening way to lose a football game possible. You have to give the man credit...he's off to a bang-up start. A scant week after letting Illinois drive down the field in the final seconds to win in Champaign, the Huskers folded like a cheap suit in the waning moments of last night's tilt. Leading 21-20 after a 52-yard TD run, the Huskers seemed to be saved when Rafael Galio...Gagalia...Galgia...Fat Kicker's shot caromed off the upright with less than a minute and a half left. Unsatisfied with the potential for a huge win, the Huskers made no real effort at a first down on the ensuing possession, opting instead to run the gut three times to make Wisconsin burn timeouts. With the ball back, the Wisconsin offense took full advantage of the soft coverage the Huskers gave them and marched down to the field to give Rafa Bagodoughnuts another chance. This time, he didn't miss and the Huskers were hoisted by their own play-calling petard yet again. Stave spent most of the day racking up a ton of yards (322 on 24 completions) but little in the way of points. The same could be said of Armstrong, minus the yardage.
Graham Filler's #HOTTAKE: Can we talk about Nebraska's decision to run it up the middle three times to make Wisconsin lose all their timeouts? There was no effort for a first down, no rollout or quarterback option or anything. They gave Wisconsin the ball back at approximately the 20-yard line. With a 1:26 left, all Wisconsin had to do was drive 50 yards and in college football when the clock stops every time you get a first down, that's a little bit easier. Weak, not aggressive playcalling by Nebraska.
Jesse Collins' #CORNTAKE: Football is dumb. :-( Wisconsin next up: Purdue | Nebraska next up: at Minnesota.
MSU at Rutgers // MSU Wins 31-24. Well, that was interesting. Is anyone left alive for MSU? Three sacks on Connor Cook only serve to highlight the walking wounded crew that comprises Sparty's offensive line. MSU looked positively pedestrian running the ball. The entire ground game amounted to 132 yards. Luckily Cook backed it up with 359 through the air. Rutgers was Rutgers, going 3-of-12 on third down conversions and letting MSU outgain them by 140 yards on offense. Nonetheless, the Knights looked as though they might have a chance to win until QB Chris Laviano spiked the ball on fourth down. Good god, Rutgers.
Andrew K's #HOTTAKE: I'm not sure when MSU's playoff ambitions are going to go Hindenberg. It very well could be next week against a hated rival which looks like a much better team right now. It could be a month after that in the Horseshoe in what was supposed to be the conference game of the year. It could come in the conference title game if the Spartans manage to get there, or against whatever bowl opponent MSU runs into. Given the way they played this week, it could also happen at any point in between, against literally any opponent left on the schedule. But after this week, the hope for a special season is all but extinguished. Injuries on the offensive line and a defense that just isn't as good as it used to be means that the best QB in school history won't be riding off into a national title sunset.
RayRansom's #HOTTAKE: Gut reaction: WHYYYYYYY OH COME ON WHYYYY DO WE ONLY LOSE IN THE KOST HEARTBREAKY WAYS WHHYYYYYYYY-YYYYYYYYY-YYYYYYYYYYY? Sunday morning reaction: A great game played across the board against a powerful team. A strong gameplan to exploit MSU's injuries, great execution in every phase, and a wonderful crowd/environment. Proud day to be a Scarlet Knights fan. While it was a tough loss, this seemingly puts a bowl and a successful overall season back in play. Steal a few wins from teams not ranked in the top-4 and win the ones you're supposed Rutgers. Bring on Indie! Meta-reaction: isn't it cool to play multiple top-10 teams every year? In the Big East, this was a once-or-twice-a-decade thing. See you next year, Spartans. MSU next up: Meeechigan | Rutgers next up:
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